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Agricultural News

OSU's Dr. Robert Westerman Talks on the Preeminence of DASNR's Plant & Soil Science Research

Tue, 23 May 2017 12:47:45 CDT

OSU's Dr. Robert Westerman Talks on the Preeminence of DASNR's Plant & Soil Science Research “Today is very, very significant for the State of Oklahoma,” said Dr. Robert Westerman, retired assistant vice president of agricultural programs for the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, about the 125th anniversary of the Historic Magruder test plots at Oklahoma State University’s Agronomy Research Farm. “It is a great, great day to look at the barometer of nutrient management for the State of Oklahoma for the past 125 years.”

Westerman, who attended last week’s celebration in Stillwater, Okla. spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn, about the important role these test plots have played in the continual research and extension education of Oklahoma’s farmers, helping them to make decisions on their operations and the part he has had in the program’s success. You can listen to their complete conversation from that day, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.

Westerman first served as assistant director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system before moving into administrative roles later in his career. He shared some of the highlights of his research during his time at the helm of the experiment station, overseeing the Magruder plots being honored this year.

“I think one of the things that we concentrated on here at OSU, was nitrogen management,” he said. “That was probably our primary emphasis - trying to get the most out of the fertilizer we applied.”

He recounts using a variety of fertilizers, application methods, timings and locations around the state to find what combinations worked best when and where.

As he once did, Dr. Bill Raun who currently oversees the research being done there, continues to build on the research data compiled over a 14-year span by Westerman and his team between 1977-1991.

“(OSU) is the leader of soil fertility, plant nutrition and nutrient management in the United States,” Westerman said approvingly. “It’s been under the direction of Dr. Bill Raun for the past 26 years and he’s done a marvelous job. Our program here at Oklahoma State is recognized world-wide and is world famous for what it has done in GreenSeeker technology and nutrient management.”

Westerman says the Magruder plots have served as the foundation base of data, illustrating 125 years of weather variables and plant response to fertilization, which has helped to guide producers in making the most efficient management decisions on their operation.

“There’s been some remarkable results obtained,” Westerman stated, “and those are well demonstrated by those plots at Magruder.”



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